Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs

Vehicle inspection officers in Lagos are currently undergoing retraining in the use of modern technology to assist them to effectively discharge their duties, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawason, has said.

Lawason, who hinted about the return of the VIOs after the special training being handled by local and foreign experts, spoke in Lagos as the state Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service decorated eight ambassadors expected to complement its efforts in encouraging motorists to bring their vehicles for regular inspection and certification.

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, ordered the VIOs out of the state roads a couple of months ago following public outcry against their manner of operation.

The commissioner said the retraining of the VIOs was to bring them up-to-date with what obtained in the advanced countries, adding that a lot of reengineering of the system and public enlightenment would be done.

Lawanson, who spoke as a guest on the state traffic radio’s morning programme, ‘Side Mirror’, hinted that the return of the VIOs to the roads would not be immediate.

At the presentation and decoration of eight ambassadors of LACVIS on Tuesday, he said the project was aimed at working with individuals across all sectors that were promoting safety, especially on the road.

He said with about two million vehicles on the road, the existing regulators were grossly inadequate to do the work, appealing to “motorists to behave more responsibly and cooperate with the regulators.”

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Taiwo Salami, said all the ambassadors were found worthy and told they had been given the power to call for the arrest of all errant motorists on the roads.

The Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, Gbolahan Toriola, stressed the need for cooperation among all stakeholders, adding that safety remained a collective responsibility.

Toriola urged both motorists and auto technicians not to cut corners, stressing that having safe vehicles on safe road was a task that must be jointly achieved.

The Managing Director of LACVIS, Segun Obayendo, described the safety ambassador project as an advocacy programme initiated “to encourage motorists to imbibe a high level of maintenance culture through voluntary presentation of vehicles for inspection at any of the LACVIS centres in Lagos State.”

He said the agency had observed the chosen ambassadors’ keen interest and tenacity with which they had pursued safety-related issues within the three years of LACVIS operation.

The new ambassadors are the Lagos State Chairman, Nigeria Automobile Technicians, Jacob Fayeun; Chairman, Motor Mechanic and Technician Association of Nigeria, Marufu Arowolo; Chief Executive of Towdah Limited, Patrick Adenusi; a transport journalist (print), Adeyinka Aderibigbe; another transport journalist (broadcast), Adebowale Yusuf (aka Iya Shawama); Executive Director, Mediareach, Yinka Adebayo; and musicians – Sulaimon Adio (aka Atawewe) and John Asiemo (aka Daddy Showkey).

Giving his impression of the event, Daddy Showkey, in an interview with our correspondent, said, “I feel happy being decorated as LACVIS ambassador. Asking me to be a face for them means that one is still relevant. In Nigeria, people use cars, they don’t know the condition. It is like our health. It is important to know the state of your vehicle and quickly fix the problems and prevent a serious calamity. I’ll take this message to the people.”

Another LACVIS ambassador, Adenusi, said, “Safety crusade is my life. It’s a good one. As much as I can, I will continue to take this to the next level.”

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